When schoolkids claim they could master a subject in their sleep, let’s hope they’re right. They may not be in a position to master it wide awake, considering how little sleep they get at night. In a Harris Poll of junior-high and high-school students, 40 percent said they get eight or more hours of sleep on a typical school night. For those in grades 10-12, the figure was 26 percent. Meanwhile, 33 percent of all the students (including 43 percent of the 10th-12th graders) get six hours or less of sleep per school night. The good news is, many kids take naps. The bad news is, they tend to take them in school. Fifteen percent of those who get too little sleep at night said they “often fall asleep during class.” Not surprisingly, kids who get eight hours of sleep are more than twice as likely to get A’s as kids who get less than six hours. Elsewhere in the poll, 70 percent of the too-little-sleep cohort confessed they “often have difficulty waking up in the morning.” On the other hand, so did 37 percent of those who said they get enough sleep. As you can see from the chart, kids in sleep deficit are more susceptible than their well-rested peers to the wear and tear of adolescence.
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